The Statutes of The International Junior Science Olympiad (IJSO)
The International Junior Science Olympiad (IJSO) is an annual individual and team competition in the natural sciences for fifteen -year-old students. It has been established in recognition of the significance of the natural sciences in the general education of young people and in all aspects of their lives. It is a purely educational event. No country may have its delegation excluded from participation on political grounds, lack of diplomatic relations, lack of recognition by the government of the organizing country, imposed embargoes or similar reasons. When difficulties preclude formal invitation of the delegation representing a country, student from such a country should be invited to participate as individual delegations. Religious or political propaganda against any person or country or disruption of any aspect of the IJSO is strictly forbidden. Participation in the IJSO either by a host country, a delegation or an observer signifies acceptance of the statutes and all other accepts of the IJSO.
The objectives of the IJSO
- To stimulate the active interest of students in the natural sciences.
- To promote their career as scientists.
- To enhance and develop international contacts in the natural sciences.
- To promote future scientific collaboration.
- To encourage the formation of friendships within the scientific community.
- To offer the opportunity to compare the syllabi and educational trends in science education within the participating countries.
The aims of the IJSO
- To promote and reward the pursuit of excellence in scientific endeavor.
- To challenge and stimulate gifted science students to develop their talents.
- To select the top young science student teams at the annual IJSO.
- To encourage continued participation in the study of the natural sciences.
- To create the friendship and relationship among students around the world from his/her early age.
The IJSO is organized in late November or early December by the International Junior Science Olympiad Organizing Committee (OC) on behalf of the appropriate Governmental Department or Institution(s) of one of the participating countries on whose territory the competition is to be conducted. The duration of the Olympiad (including the arrival and departure days) should not be less than 9 days.
English is the working language of the IJSO and competition problems and their solutions should be presented in to the IJSO International Board (IB) in English. The organizers may also prepare these documents in other languages.
Within five years of its entry in the competition a country should declare its intention to be the host of a future IJSO so that the order of countries willing to arrange the IJSO can be compiled. A country that refuses to commit to organize the competition may be barred from participation, even if delegations from that country have taken part in previous competitions.
In the event of the IJSO being cancelled all participating countries including those countries that had agreed to send an observer will be invited to send full delegations to the resumed IJSO.
The financial management of the IJSO is as follows:
The host country covers all costs from the arrival at the location of the IJSO until departure of the delegations. This includes the costs of
- board and lodging of the delegations
- medals, awards, certificates, other prizes, etc.
The Country coordinator must insure that the government/sponsors cover the cost for the delegation of
- return travel to the location of the competition
- health & travel insurance for the period of the competition.
- the participation fees for each delegation is US$ 1.000.00 and will be reviewed yearly.
Twenty-five percent (25%) of the participation fee should be returned to the Treasurer of IJSO for operational costs of IJSO Organization. The Financial status of IJSO will be reported by the treasurer every year at the International Board Meeting and is subject to be audited by the Internal IJSO’s Auditors.
All cost incurred for creating problems (theory and experiment) for IJSO is the responsibility of the host country.
HOSTING THE IJSO
The host country must ensure or prove that
- the IJSO is conducted in accordance with the statutes.
- the budget to host the IJSO is sufficient, at least 6 months prior to the date of the event must be approved by the EC of IJSO.
- each relevant ministry and country coordinator receives an official letter of invitation for a delegation (six students) and three team leaders (physics, chemistry, and biology) to the IJSO. The letter designated for the relevant ministry must be clearly mentioned the person who will act as the country coordinator for his/her country.
- all ambassadors or government representative of the participants’ countries are invited to attend the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
- A high rank of Government Official (at least Minister or Deputy Minister) is invited to declare the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of IJSO.
- an official staff of OC will be at the airport to welcome all participants on the arrival day and drive them safely to their hotels or back to the airport on the departure date.
- suitable accommodation and subsistence is provided for each delegation. All Students will stay at the same hotel and leaders at the same other hotel.
- problems are translated by each country for their own students.
- A daily News Letter or leaflet of the event is published.
- proceedings will be published and delivered to the participant countries at the next IJSO
- the event of IJSO is made known to public as widely as possible through news at TV Broadcast, Newspapers, etc.
- sufficient banners posted at least around the competition sites, such us: Hotels for Leaders and Students, Examination Sites, Excursion sites and also on the Excursion buses.
- sufficient Liaison Officer (LO) for each country (Students and leaders)
- equality of all the delegations is recognized.
- no contacts between leaders/observers/visitors and their team members starting, during and after problems discussion until the students has finished taken the test for the discussed problems.
- no advantage is given to the national delegation of the host country.
- the health and safety of the delegations is provided for.
- laboratories, examination halls, materials and other requirements necessary for the carrying out of the IJSO in accordance with the rules are provided.
- student guides are provided.
- a cultural and social programme is in place.
- contact its Embassies/trade office abroad and help the participating countries to get their visas.
- freedom for all EC members and observers to access all examination sites.
- time Table for the on going IJSO must be made very clear (location/site, time, etc). Any change on the schedule, must be discussed with EC members.
- all problems discussions, IOC Meetings, EC meetings, Moderation and other meetings regarding the IJSO will take place at the Leaders’ Hotel.
- all communication facilities such as internet in the Leader’s hotel must be kept normal (ON) for the duration of the IJSO event.
- the website of the on going IJSO must be kept up-to-date following the arrival of delegations until the departure dates so that the out side world will immediately knows what is going on.
- arrange the lunch/es or dinner among students, leaders, observers and visitors in between the three tests.
Next and next of the Next Hosting Countries
- next Hosting Country must make a formal invitation to all participating countries. The Formal invitation must be addressed by the Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee or from the government official of the next hosting country.
- next Hosting Countries may bring observers (as many as they think necessary) to observe the on going IJSO.
- the next of next hosting country must make a preliminary invitation to all participating countries.
- the next of next hosting countries may make any other presentations, distribute any gifts, etc to all of the participating countries.
- any other country may also make a short presentation of their countries to all participating countries.IJSO OFFICES
- Shall be elected by the IB.
- Shall serve a five-year term and may be re-appointed by the IB.
- Shall be an ex-officio member of all IJSO committees
- Shall receive an official invitation from the host country of the IJSO. All costs incurred for inviting the president is the obligation of the Organizing Committee (OC).
- Shall ensure that the IJSO constitution is upheld
- Shall chair the IB meeting where changes to the constitution are being discussed.
- Shall Chair the IB meeting in deciding Medals’ recipients
- Shall be invited to deliver a speech at the opening and closing Ceremonies
- Must sign all certificates given to all participants.
- Shall be an ex-officio member of all IJSO committees
- Shall be act as a representative of each continent
- Shall be elected by the IB of the relevant continent
- Shall help the president with his tasks
- Shall serve a five-year term and may be re-appointed by the IB.
- Shall promote and encourage countries in his/her region to participate in IJSO
Changes to the statutes can only be made at an IB meeting, chaired by the President and called specifically for that purpose. IB members must receive the proposed changes in writing at least one month before the meeting.
In the event of the IJSO not taking place or in danger of not taking place in any year, the IJSO President has the authority to invite the IB of the previous year to remain in office and manage the affairs of the IJSO with the secretariat until a new host country accepted.
Where the president/vice president is also a citizen of the host country he/she has the authority to and must
- Insure that the OC and the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) are completely separate and independent. No person may serve on both committees.
- Insure that the Deliberation of Scientific Committee is kept secret from the national delegation.
- Insure to the satisfaction of the IB that no contact is made between the OC and the National delegation.
- Insure that no advantage whatsoever is given to the national delegation.
The President/vice president has the authority to appoint the Scientific Committee (SC) in order to guarantee the above mentioned four points.
The long-term work of the IJSO is co-ordinate by a Secretariat for the IJSO. This Executive Committee (EC) consists of the President, Vice Presidents, Secretaries, Treasurer, and Public Relations Officer. The IB elects the secretariat for a period of five years. Members may be elected for two consecutive terms only. Vacancies occurring within the five year period will be filled by the IB to complete the term. The members serve in a voluntary capacity and will not receive a stipend.
The Executive Committee (EC) also automatically acts as the Country Coordinator for their countries.
The Organizing Committee of the IJSO must be completely independent and separate from the Local Organizing Committee responsible for the selection and training etc of the Host Country Team.
The appropriate Governmental Department or Institution(s) of one of the participating countries on whose territory the competition is to be conducted appoints the International Junior Science Olympiad Organizing Committee (OC) to run the IJSO on behalf of the host country.
The OC should produce a set of “Organization Rules” based on the statutes. These must be sent to the delegation leaders of the participating countries in good time. These organization rules shall give details of the IJSO not covered in the statutes including the names and addresses of the institutions and persons responsible for the IJSO.
The OC shall provide a detailed program for the competition including schedule, program of excursions, etc, which is sent to the delegation leaders in advance of the IJSO.
The OC is obliged to publish the IJSO proceedings in English. Each participant should receive one copy of the proceedings free of charge not later than one year after the competition.
The OC appoints a Scientific Committee (SC) to manage all the scientific aspects of the IJSO. The SC will provide three tasks, solutions and a grading scheme. The topics for the competition must correspond as far as possible with the science syllabi for fifteen-year-old students in the participating countries (IB Syllabus).
- Task One is a multi-choice-questionnaire (MCQ). The number of questions should be 30 (thirty). Each question shall have four possible answers with only one is correct.
- Task Two is a theoretical test. The number of tests should be 2 (two) or 3 (three).
- Task Three is the experimental task. The number of tasks should be 1 (one) or 2 (two).
Questions for Task One should include Physics (10 problems), Biology (10 Problems) and Chemistry (10 problems). Task Two should be more complex involving a combination of Physics, Chemistry and Biology.Question for Task Three should be the combination of Physics, Chemistry and Biology and should be in equal proportion.
The Scientific Committee (SC) has to prepare at least 6 (six) spare problems for task one (two problems for each subject), and one spare problem for task two. These spare problems which will be presented to the International Board if some of the originally presented thirty problems for task one or one of the two or three problems for task two is/are rejected by two thirds of the International Board members. The rejected problem(s) can not be reconsidered.
The Task should include all subjects at the IJSO Syllabus.
The SC is responsible for the grading the problem solutions and for organizing and carrying out the moderation process.
Each participating country may submit six multiple choice problem ( two for each subject: Physics, Chemistry and Biology) for task one, one theoretical problem for each subject for task two, and one experimental problem for task three to the OC of IJSO. The complete solution of each problem must also be submitted.
The International Board (IB) is composed of the Executive Committee and the Country Coordinators of the participating countries and is the decision making body and final arbitrator of the IJSO. Decisions of the IB are taken on the basis of a simple majority (unless otherwise stated in the statutes) in the presence of at least 75% of members and are final. Each country has one vote. In the case of equal votes, the president has a casting vote and takes the final decision. The President shall chair the meeting. His duties include:
- to chair the meetings of the IB.
- to declare the meeting open and verify by roll call the names of voting members present.
- to allow equal opportunity to all members to express their points of view
- to restrict / limit where necessary the contributions of any members.
- to record decisions of the IB.
- to complete the agenda of the meeting within the prescribed time
- to declare the meeting over or deferred
One of the team leaders will serve as the International Board (IB) Member of IJSO and serve as a Country Coordinator until the next IJSO. IB Member for the new countries joining IJSO, must be belong to or have a strong support from Government, Institution/University, or well known organization/association.
- to direct and supervise the IJSO in accordance with the statutes
- to verify that all members meet all the requirements of the IJSO
- to discuss and approve the tasks, their solutions and evaluation. The IB may change or reject parts of tasks one and two but may not propose new ones. Structural changes may not be made to the experimental task.
- to ensure that no assistance is given to students by way of translations or by any other means.
- to ensure correct and just classification of the prize winners.
- to establish the winners of the competition and make a decision concerning presentation of the prizes.
- to review the running of the IJSO.
- to ensure that violations of the statutes are dealt with appropriately
- to approve the countries that will organize future IJSOs.
- to expel countries or individuals from participation in the IJSO for violation of the statutes.
- to accept the decisions of the chairperson or the majority of the members present
The IB approves
- the final results of the evaluation and decides on the number of Gold, Silver and Bronze medals and other awards to be awarded in accordance with the statutes
- the changes to the IJSO Constitution which come into effect for the following year.
- the expulsion of team leaders or students from the IJSO in the case of a serious breach of the rules.
Each participating country that has either participated fully in or sent an observer to the IJSO in one of the previous two years is invited to send a delegation of six students and three team leaders. One team leader is acting as the country coordinator. Each Participating country is requested to bring their National Flag to be used during the IJSO’s event.
The Hosting country has the right to have two National Delegations.
- Pay the Participation fee at the time that the Host Country decided
- obey all rules written at the IJSO statutes and rules made by the Host Country for the ongoing event.
- Normal team consist of six students and three leaders. If a normal team could not be fulfilled, then the minimum team that consist of three students (and only one leader), will also be allowed to participate the IJSO whose aged is fifteen years of age or younger on 31st December of the competition year. As an example Students born on or after January 1st, 1990 are therefore eligible for IJSO in 2005.
- The eligible students for each delegation to represent his/her country are those who hold a valid passport or are in the educational system for at least one academic year of that country.
- Teams consisting of less than three members are not classified for team awards.
- Students must accept the statutes of the IJSO and the Organization Rules provided by the OC
The country coordinator is the contact person in each participating IJSO country and must insure that
- all registration forms are completed and sent to the OC on time
- guarantee that all delegation member details are in accordance with the rules of the IJSO.
- pay all fees to the OC on time.
- confirm at registration that all delegation member details provided are correct.
- carry out the directions of the IB.
- Must preserve complete secrecy of the tasks and the results until publicly announced.
- Must provide a proper translation of the problems from English (or other languages) to the mother tongue of their participants. The Organizing Committee will not be responsible for providing the translator for the country delegation.
- Must grade their students’ scripts and participate fully in the moderation process.
- Must accept the statutes of the IJSO and the Organisation Rules provided by the OC
- Strongly suggested to make and send the proposed problems for the competition to the SC and EC
- Must not making any contact to their students right after the problem discussion is started, until the student finished the test of the related problems.
The IB will disqualify those contestants who do not meet the IJSO conditions. The delegation leader must ensure that all delegation member details are in accordance with the rules of the IJSO and have been accepted by the OC prior to arrival at the IJSO. The delegation leader must cover the costs incurred by a disqualified contestant or contestants where the OC has not accepted the contestant or contestants.
Observer/s are those people who come to observe the ongoing IJSO that are not sending a delegation, or people from next or next after next Host Countries that are accompanying their team leaders.
An Observer from a country that has not taken part in the IJSO in one of the previous two years may attend the IJSO. A Country that has not participated previously must send an Observer for one year prior to full participation.
A country that is sending a delegation may bring one extra observer to help team leaders in translating the problems.
- Is regarded in the same way as a team leader
- Is invited to participate in all IB meetings and IJSO activities.
- Does not have voting rights at the IB meeting
- Must pay an observer fee determined by the host country
The visitor from a participating country may attend the IJSO. The visitor:
- Is invited to joint for all excursion programs for leaders only
- Is invited to attend opening and closing ceremonies
- Not allowed to attend any meetings pertaining to IJSO
- Must pay his/her accommodations (hotel, foods, travelling, etc) fully during his/her stay.
- Must pay the visitor fee determined by the host country
The host country has the right to invite guest delegations, including a guest delegation from the host country. Guest delegation leaders are not voting members of the IB but their duties are the same as other delegation leaders in all other respects. The guest delegation from other countries pays all the expenses related to its participation determined by the host country.
The next host country is not obliged to invite the guest delegation from the previous competition. Countries present with guest delegations only are not obliged to organize the IJSO in the future.
Competitors from the guest delegations are classified in the same way as the regular delegations. They may receive medals, awards, diplomas and prizes but their names should be associated with the letter “G” (Guest) in all official documents. The medals, awards, diplomas and prizes awarded to the guest teams are in addition to the 60% allocated awards.
The competition is divided into three tasks, prepared by the SC and conducted over three days with an interval of at least one day between each task. The time allotted to each task should normally be three to four hours. The OC decide the sequence of the competition days.
- Must be related to the Syllabus of IJSO, and cover all content of the syllabus as much as possible.
- Must be reviewed by the IJSO Scientific Committee Members (an ad-hoc Scientific Committee formed by EC) prior to the problem discussion
- Created innovatively and MUST avoid such problem/s that needs language explanation as an answer.
- Only attended by leaders, EC members, observers and appointed OC members.
- Must be lead by the Chairman of Scientific Committee of the Host Country and attended by the president. If necessary, the chairmanship may be taken over by the president.
- Problems must be presented to be discussed by all leaders.
- May be interfered by the president if there is a dispute among the leaders
- Problems that are rejected is determined by vote of the team leaders (rejection is valid if it larger than two thirds of votes). One country has one vote only.
- The Rejected problem/s must not be reconsidered to be one of the problem/s.
- Problems translation is the responsibility of the team leaders, and may be started after the problems are approved by the board members.
- Host Country may provide software for the translation upon request.
- Leaders must not give any clues, changes, simplification or modification for the problems that have approved by the IB members when the problems are translated to their own languages. (Translation means that to change the sentences/words to one language according to the related Dictionary).
- Any country that violate the previous point, will be disqualified from the event, and must return immediately to their countries without receiving any expenses related to their participation budget, from the Host Country or by IJSO.
- Countries where English is not their national language must include the approved English Version in addition to the translated problems.
- Moderation is the discussion between team leaders and SC members, and resolving the differences of the students’ results.
- At least 2 hours before moderation, SC must have returned their final marks for each students included with the marking scheme to the head of the team leaders.
- Must be lead by the chairman of SC members.
- Only attended by leaders, EC members (if necessary), and appointed OC members.
- Each country will be called according to their schedules, and will only be present for discussion for the allocated time determined by SC (all countries will get the same time allocation).
- At the end of the moderation, the head of the team leaders of each country must sign the final mark for their students.
- No more changes can be made for the students’ marks after moderation, unless there is a proven mistake by the SC on their final marks.
When solving the problems the contestants may make use of mathematical tables, tables of physical constants, the periodic table of elements, non-programmable pocket calculators and drawing material. These aids will be brought by the students themselves. Collections of formulae from mathematics, chemistry, physics etc. are not allowed.
The host country has to prepare at least six spare MCQ problems and one spare theoretical problem. These spare problems will be presented to the IB if any of the originally presented test problems are rejected by two thirds of the IB present. The rejected problem(s) cannot be reconsidered.
The maximum points allocated to the tasks are:
- task one : 30 points
- task two : 30 points
- task three : 40 points
Questions for Task One should include pure Physics (10 problems), Biology (10 Problems) and Chemistry (10 problems). The correct answer will be marked 1 (one), the wrong answer will get penalty 0.25 (zero point twenty five), and zero marks for not answering.
Task Two should be more complex involving a combination of Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Question for Task Three should be the combination of Physics, Chemistry and Biology.
Task one and two are an individual competition. However task three is a team competition, where one team consists of three students of each delegation (each country may have two teams for task three). Each member of the team for task three will be awarded the same points as the point that his/her team obtain.
The team leader/s is obliged to state clearly the names of his/her students as team A or Team B. However, the names on each team may be changed (reshuffled) ONLY on the arrival date. No more changes can be made afterwards.
Allocating the medal recipients is based on individual total points; the points allocated to task three are added to the points allocated to tasks one and two.In deciding on the best theoretical winner, only results of the task one and task two are added.
In deciding for the medal recipients is based on individual total points, the points allocated to task three are added to the points allocated to tasks one and two. In deciding of the country winner, the total points obtained by the delegation will be counted as the following: Gold medal will be given 3 points, silver medal is given 2 points, and bronze medal is given 1 point. However, any additional medals (e.g. from best task three will not be considered for the allocation of the country winner)
The over all winner is the student who has the highest individual total points (the total of task one, two and three).
For the discussion of medal recipients and other awards at the IB meeting, the student results must be shown with a factor number that only known by Chairman of SC (the real results will not be shown).
No students results will be released to the public, until the medals and other awards are presented at the closing ceremony of IJSO.
All delegation members who do not obtain any medals will receive a certificate of participation. The students who obtain medal/s will also receive a certificate/s that clearly mentioning the medal/s that he/she receives. The top teams and students will receive medals, awards in accordance with the number of points accumulated as follows:
For Individual competition:
Gold medals : top 10% of all participating delegations.
Silver medals : next 20% of all participating delegations.
Bronze medals : next 30% of all participating delegations.
For Team (experimental) competition:
Gold medals : 1st Highest point of the team
Silver medals : 2nd Highest point of the team
Bronze medals : 3rd Highest point of the team
The number of medals must not exceed 60% of all the participants. The winner for Team (experimental) competition, medal will be awarded to each member of the winning team.
Special Prizes and Certificate will be awarded to:
- the student who obtains the highest overall score (Combination all tasks) is called as THE OVER ALL WINNER
- the student who obtains the highest score for theoretical test (Combination of task one and two) is called as THE BEST THEORY WINNER
The Certificate must be printed with the Official Logo of IJSO and may be with the logo of the on-going IJSO. The Certificate must also be signed by the President and the Chairman of the on-going IJSO Organizing Committee.
A perpetual challenge Trophy will be awarded to the country who achieved the highest accumulated score of all six students and is called as THE COUNTRY WINNER. The IJSO trophy will not be permanently belong to the winner, however to be returned to the President of IJSO at the opening ceremony of the next IJSO and will be awarded to the next winning team.
Additional Special prizes can be awarded at the discretion of the host country.
The IB may award some person or persons with the title “Honorary Member of the International Junior Science Olympiad (HMIJSO)” for special service to the IJSO. They may be invited to each IJSO. The payment of all expenses of the HMIJSO is at the discretion of the host country. The Past Presidents of IJSO is automatically become the member of HMIJSO.
After IJSO reaching fifty member countries, then countries who want to joint the IJSO that has never been participating before, has to start as an observer at least once.
Participation in the International Junior Science Olympiad signifies acceptance of the present Statutes by the Relevant Ministry of the participating country.
The original of these Statutes are written in English.
This statue is immediately effective after it is revised at the 4th IJSO International Board Meeting in Taipei-Taiwan on December 10th, 2007. Therefore, the previous IJSO Statue is no longer valid.